No more langars at Rajasansi gurdwara
Security concern: AAI also stops bookings for akhand paths
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Rajasansi (Amritsar), November 20
Rajasansi International Airport is perhaps the only airport in the world where one can cross the operational area, runway included, to pay obeisance at a Sikh shrine in its vicinity, thus, posing a serious security threat. However, keeping in view the security of the passengers, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has taken strict measures for the first time, much to the chagrin of the local devotees.

The AAI has decided to stop bookings for akhand paths in Gurdwara Santsar, situated in the airport complex. The ban on cooking and distributing of langar (community kitchen) inside the gurdwara premises has also annoyed the devotees.

Arun Talwar, airport director, said the gurdwara is run by the airport employees and after a series of meetings with their representatives, it had been decided to allow assembly of devotees only in the morning hours.

“A majority of those coming to the gurdwara in the evening were more interested in catching a glimpse of the airplanes parked meters away from the gurdwara, which is located very close to the operational area,” he said.

Ever since the evening congregation has been stopped, there has been a sizable dip in the number of people coming to the gurdwara every day. The view of the operational area was also blocked by putting up tents during the recent functions organised at the gurdwara.

“It has also been decided to allow religious functions on gurpurabs only till 12:30 pm with the condition that the large crowds of devotees would not enter the airport complex and only the ‘Panj Pyaras’ and a small group of devotees would offer prayers in the gurdwara. Prasad would be served outside the gurdwara,” he said.

With the approval of deputy commissioner K.S. Pannu the airport authorities have also banned preparation of langar inside the gurdwara complex.

Interestingly, the airport also has the dubious distinction of hosting five planes after their hijacking. At least three lakh passengers arrive at this airport every year and the flow is likely to increase manifold.

Meanwhile, the government agencies are baffled over a suitable solution to check the flow of sangat at the shrine in the airport's vicinity, especially during every sangrand or anniversary of baba, when more than one lakh devotees throng the gurdwara.

Earlier, authorities had offered to construct a big gurdwara outside the airport, yet it does not get a positive response so far.

The devotees have faith in the shrine that was set up some 57 years ago when the airport was under the control of the Indian Air Force.

The ‘abiding belief’, it is learnt, emanates from the fact that the shrine as well as the airport remained undamaged during the massive air strikes in the 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan, even though it was the 'nearest' and 'softest' target for enemy sorties. The airport in Amritsar was originally granted the status of an international airport in 1980 when international flights to several destinations in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the then Soviet Union and England were introduced.



Building Up Dreams
Realty boost sought for border belt
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 20
The Amritsar Builders and Colonisers Association (ABCA), in a memorandum, has urged the state government to declare low potential zone status for three border districts of Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Ferozepore to boost the real estate business.

ABCA president Krishan Sharma, while presenting the memorandum to minister for information and public relations Bikramjit Singh Majithia on Sunday night, said though the state government had reduced the change of land use and external development charges but that still remains approximately eight times that of the previous charges.

Sharma said the enormous increase in charges had simply stopped the real estate development in Punjab in general and specifically in the three border districts of the state. He rued that border area incentives, previously given to these districts, have been withdrawn in the new policy.

He said the real estate business in the state was worth Rs 1,500 crore. The government had received Rs 125 crore as revenue during the last financial year whereas during the past eight months the government had received only Rs 60 crore as revenue. He said a level playing field should be maintained in the region as the small investors would not be able to carry out real estate business due to high land use change and external development charges.

He further said even the big multinational companies like DLF were not showing any interest as the area had low potential for real estate business. He said if the government really wants to bring in multinational companies, it would have to offer special concessions to them.

Speaking on the occasion Majithia assured the members that he would soon meet Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD acting chief Sukhbir Badal in this regard and would try to arrange a meeting of the representatives of the association with them.



Faulty lifestyle leading to epilepsy, say experts
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 20
An alarming rise is being seen in cases related to epilepsy in the city and most of these cases are due to brain infection caused by uncooked food, faulty lifestyle and accidents.

These revelations were made during a free camp held on the occasion of World Epilepsy Day at the Escorts Heart and Super Specialty Institute here.

As many as 62 patients availed of the free consultation and medicine distribution services doled out by the hospital authorities to patients suffering from the debilitating disease. Two brain specialists, Dr Raj Kamal and Dr Sachin Mishra, of the hospital examined the patients.

They revealed that about 30 per cent of the patients who attended the camp were suffering from fits due to infection in the central nervous system (CNS) and were in their 20s while others suffered fits due to brain tumours or head injury caused by trauma due to accidents.

Among these patients 50 per cent were women. The doctors also said in accident cases where patients were suffering from brain injuries and fits, almost all were in the age group of 20 to 40 years.

Allaying fears of many suffering from the disease, Dr Raj Kamal said in 80 per cent cases medication could improve matters. Dr Sachin said in 20 to 25 cases surgical intervention may be required.

Dr Kamal further revealed that six to eight cases of epilepsy in every 1,000 persons were presently being reported in India but the figure was rising.

He said dogmas and superstitions among relatives and friends of patients often spoiled matters, with many taking the fit to be divine intervention.

Cautioning patients against the prevalent superstitious practices, he said in many cases giving water could prove fatal, while smelling footwear is no cure. Instead the patient could be rested on his/her side so that easy flow of air could be maintained and a non-abrasive item could be inserted in the mouth to prevent biting of the tongue by the patient.

About the most widespread causes Dr Sachin said injury during birth or malformed brain in newborns could cause epilepsy while in the young people the causes were mostly unknown. In the elderly the fits could be caused due to brain strokes, tumours or trauma due to accidents.



Focus on speeding up devp, says new MC commissioner
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 20
Amritsar’s new municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda has put behind the controversy sparked off by his appointment for the coveted post. He is on the job with enthusiasm, holding meetings and getting informed.

He was named the commissioner even though the additional commissioner Kirpal Singh is his six year senior as per the gradation and distribution list. Kharbanda replaces Hussan Lal, who has been appointed executive director, SC Corporation, Chandigarh. He had a short stint of about 10 months.

The top priority, says Kharbanda, would be to speed up the pace of development projects sanctioned for the city under various schemes of the Centre. “A host of schemes have been sanctioned but either they have yet to take off or are going at a snail’s pace,” he says. “The sewerage and water supply projects, the basic services for urban poor (BSUP) scheme and solid waster management project need attention so that they materialise as per schedule. The corporation also needs to do put its act together for the launch of the city bus service,” he adds.

“The problem is basically with projects where the funds have to be contributed by the Government of India through the Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (NURN), the state government and the municipal corporation as it involves a long procedure for transfer of funds,” he says.

Kharbanda says the elevated road project also falls in this category and any possible hurdle in its completion would be removed.

On the rampant encroachments in the city, Kharbanda says he had sought a list of violators and asked his staff to file court cases within 10 days. “The encroachers were getting encouraged by the fact that the corporation had not even filed cases despite widespread encroachments in different parts of the city,” he says. “The sanitation drive of the corporation is already on. The time schedule is 7 am to 2 pm and orders have been issued to the staff concerned to be on the streets on dot. With public cooperation, the drive can change the look of the city,” he adds.

Ask him what one issue is close to his heart and pat comes the reply, “The holy city should boast of basic amenities and infrastructure to attract tourists. Beautification of the city, especially the entry points, needs to be focused on and I would try my best to work in this direction.”



Smitten by Punjab, this Czech troupe loves to perform here
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 20
About 26 members of the Groupe Folkflorique Canne D’Edau from San Paul Reunion (French Island) and belle troupe of Czech Republic arrived in the city to perform at Guru Nanak Dev Auditorium on November 20. The indelible mark left on their minds by the Punjabi culture has caused them to come to the state time and again.

Hana Latalovam from the ministry of labour and social affairs of the Czech Republic, while talking to the media, said this was their fourth visit to the country as Punjabi culture had greatly impressed them. Introducing the couple, Hanna Singh and Slavoj Singh, who had married in Sector 19 Gurdwara of Chandigarh a few years ago, she said the duo showcase Czech history and culture through Belle dance. She said every time they visit this country, they try to bring something new to display their various customs to the people of India.

Marie-Paule Deltour, president of the French group said this is their second visit to the country.

She said earlier they had performed in five provinces of the country including Chennai, Bhopal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, New Delhi and Chandigarh in 2004. She said their purpose is to sensitise the public to the traditions and culture of their republic. She said, “Our objective is a play presentation of our traditions and the discovery of India dances.”

Jaswinder Singh of Ghungroo Musical Club of Chandigarh said these two groups would perform in Panchkula (November 22), Ludhiana (November 23), Chandigarh (November 24, 28) and Mohali (November 25).

He rued that neither the state nor the central government had shown a keen interest to promote the Punjabi culture though the state government had made a special provision of one per cent in its budget for promoting the culture and various art forms. He said even sponsors were not coming forth to support the group.



Mr Singh International: Pre-final on Nov 24
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 20
In the zonal competition of the second Frankfinn Mr Singh International, 25 Sikhs have been selected out of 110 contestants from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. The event organised by Akal Purakh Ki Fauj (APKF) concluded here last evening at the Khalsa College for Education.

The contest included formal dress round, question-answer session, physique round and traditional wears round. The zonal winners would now participate in the pre-final competition to be held on November 24 at Dehra Dun. The final contest is scheduled for December 15 in the holy city. The contest was judged by Inderdeep Singh, the first runner-up of Mr Singh International 2005, excise and taxation assistant commissioner Harinder Pal Singh and Sikh model Barinder Pal Singh. Among others present were Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, adviser to CM Parkash Singh Badal, SSP (vigilance) Sukhdev Singh and SGPC member Rajinder Singh Mehta.

APKF media in charge Jaswinder Singh Jassi informed that Badal and censor board chairman Sharmila Tagore were likely to be present on the day of final competition. He said the winner of the competition would be given a chance to play the lead role in the film produced by the APKF.



Fully Equipped
527 Khalsa College students get degrees
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 20
BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu exhorted the degree holders to live up to the expectations of society at the 52nd annual convocation of the Khalsa College of Education held here recently.

Conferring degrees on 527 students of MEd, BEd, PGDCA (TE) of sessions 2004-05 and 2005-06, Sidhu sanctioned Rs 21 lakh for the college. Besides, 16 students of MEd, who cleared the UGC test in 2006-07, were also honoured.

Old principals of the college, Gurnam Singh and Dr Pritam Singh, lecturers of the college elevated to the post of principal, Dr Aruna Anand, Dr Jeewan Jyoti Sidana, Dr Surinderpal Kaur Dhillon, Dr Praveen Thukral, Dr Satinderpal Kaur Gill, Dr B.M. Sharma, the alumni and the present educationists, Jagdish Singh, J.S. Bawa, Anoop Singh, Nanak Singh, Mukhtiar Singh, Swaran Singh, Manveen Kaur Sandhu, Kanwar Pal Singh, Hem Raj Gupta, Kewal Krishan Sehdev, Dr Balbir Singh Saini, Sudarshan Singh Bhalla, Hardev Singh, Rajeev Kumria, Pradeep Singh Sareen were also honoured for their state and national-level achievements. The function was presided over by Khalsa College Governing Council president Satyajit Singh Majithia.



Sandeep, Gurdev enter ‘Voice of Punjab’ finals
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 20
Pop singer Malkit Singh enthralled the audiences with his famous hit “Tutak tutak tutian” and other numbers at the north zone semi-finals of the “Coca Cola Voice of Punjab” held here recently. Sandeep Singh from Kapurthala and Gurdev Tohfa from Tarn Taran have entered the finals of the “Coca Cola Voice of Punjab” to be held in Chandigarh on December 5.

Security officials had a tough time in controlling young fans who were on their toes as soon as Malkit walked on to the stage. Dheepak Dhillon, Micky Singh, Surinder Laddi and Balkar Sidhu also sang.

Congratulating the winners, Malkit said, “This is a good initiative which would provide exposure to each of the young talented singers of Punjab and the Majha region, especially to showcase their talent.”

Ranjit Happy of Batala, Jitender Singh and Supnandandeep Kaur from Amritsar and Suraj Aftab from Pathankot were eliminated in the second round. Gurmit Bawa and Sarabjit also regaled the audience with their famous number “Kaharo doli na” and “Ghodi chadeya”, respectively.



Personality devp camp for school students
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 20
A group of students from Government Senior Secondary School, Narli (Tarn Taran), comprising 15 girls and 25 boys from classes X to XII have been participating in a personality development camp organised by the Spring Dale Educational Society.

The main objectives of the camp were to provide students with an experience of learning outside the school campus, besides helping them to boost their confidence.

Spring Dale Senior School principal Manveen Sandhu said the students would be taught basics of tent-pitching followed by a demonstration. The activity would help students learn time management, which is an important part of personality development. The activity has been specially incorporated in the wake of natural earthquakes, catastrophe floods, cyclone, cloudbursts and other natural disasters.

Apart from these activities, students would be trained in judging distance, identifying targets, calculating degree by using fingers, night trekking, astronomy and yoga. To make the camp more interesting and entertaining, dance competitions would also be organised, she added.



Head constables write test
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 20
To improve the functioning at police stations, a written test of head constables was conducted at the Amritsar (rural) police line at Daburji 
here today.

This was an attempt to find and appoint able policemen at various police stations having knowledge of various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and other criminal Acts, besides Punjab Police rules. Iqbal Singh, SSP, Amritsar (rural), said the working of police stations was hampered as the appointed munshis did not have any training before their promotion.

He said in future only those constables would be promoted and appointed as head constables and chief munshis in the police stations who would clear the test.

He said there were two kinds of head constables - one who had passed lower school exam and other 10 per cent were those who got promoted for their good services and given relaxation from this condition. That meant they became head constables without clearing the requisite qualifying exams. While the third type was of those policemen who had completed 16 years of service. He said as many as 17 candidates were allowed to give exams, out of which 16 had cleared lower school examination.



NCC cadets told how to control traffic
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 20
A traffic control camp was organised for the NCC cadets of Dayanand Industrial Training Institute at in the busy crossings, including Lawrence Chowk, Crystal Chowk and Customs Chowk of the holy city. Led by (Lt) Sanjeev Sharma, NCC officer, the cadets under the supervision of Surinder Pal Singh Sidhu, SP Traffic, were given tips on how to control the traffic. They were also taught the importance of zebra crossing, red yellow and green lights. The cadets also took oath on the occasion to work for the development of the country.



Cops get tips to bust stress

Tarn Taran, November 20
Social worker Vijay Sharma delivered a lecture to policemen to live a tension-free life, in a seminar organised at Police Lines here today.

The policemen from the SP rank to constable and women police participated in the seminar. Sharma, while delivering his lecture, said self-confidence was the key to lead a successful life.

The policemen should be proud of their duties as being the protectors of the security of the common man, they are respected in society, Sharma said. He advised them not to have an attitude of revenge and deal with the problems. — OC



NTSE Print Error
Students complain to SCERT

Amritsar, November 20
The students of the holy city, who appeared in the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE), through an open letter to coordinator of State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) lodged a complaint about the difficulties faced by them during the test.

In their complaint, the students alleged that mental ability test section had more than seven questions that were misprinted. They further said many of the roll numbers were wrongly spelt and bore other grave anomalies about students’ identity, as a result a lot of precious time was lost to sort out the matter. The mathematics and physics questions were much beyond the level of Class X, they alleged. — OC



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